What was the giving of the Torah all about?

Wednesday, 15 January, 2014 - 12:07 pm

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The giving of the Torah was a most significant and transformative occurrence in history, as detailed in this week’s Torah portion Yitro.

The giving of the Torah was not just a magnificentlight and sound show, but rather it was G-d’s descent onto Mt. Sinai that transformed the physical and spiritual plains forever.

Prior to the giving of the Torah, the spiritual and physical worlds were mutually exclusive realms without a foreseeable bridge. “The heavens are the heavens of G-d, and the earth He gave to man.” (Tehillim)

When our Patriachs kept the mitzvot of the Torah, without actually having received it, it was about increasing spirituality in the spiritual realm but had no impact on the physical world around them.

However, G-d decided to change that reality and began the process of fusion with His descent onto the Mountain. G-d then commanded us to keep His mitzvot, and thereby enabled the physical and spiritual to mesh.

When doing G-d’s Will with something physical we are given the power toelevate that physical object and impact the physical world around us like never before.

When Jacob put out sticks before Lavan’s sheep, he was bringing down the same spiritual energy into this world as we do when putting on tefillin (Zohar), but the actual object that he used was inconsequential and completely unaffected by his spiritual service, they remained sticks. However, since the giving of the Torah, the commandment to put on tefillin requires black boxes, leather straps and parchment scrolls and by putting them on and reciting a blessing they become holy objects not to be defaced even after their ability to be used.

From this transformation our purpose in this world becomes apparent. G-d put us here to do His will, and by doing so to elevate the physical world and make it a spiritual place. G-d’s purpose for creation was that “the Holy One Blessed be He, desires a dwelling place in the lowest world” (Midrash).

He wanted a place to feel at home.

So next time you do a mitzvah, know that your mitzvah is not just about self-improvement or feeling connected, but it actually realizes the entire purpose of the creation of this world!

Have a wonderful half-week, hope to see you soon,


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